Deliberate Practice

IMG_4683With the end of another PR Week, comes another cycle of programming.

The previous cycle has ushered in a heavy emphasis on gymnastic skills.  And I've seen lots of pretty cool stunts happening around the place as a result - major handstand walking success, muscle ups, particularly strict, levers, icecream makers, circle ups and forward rolls in the rings.

But more importantly, those basics are being mastered - plenty of first pullups, multiple pullups, stronger kipping technique and solid positions in handstands and other movements.

Progress can be slow with gymnastics.......maddingly, excrutiatingly painful, watching paint dry slow.  So only the patient and dedicated are rewarded.

We regularly juggle the programming between what is NEEDED for optimal fitness (strength training, stability and structural balance work, high intensity interval conditioning) and what is WANTED (long, high rep cardio sessions, 1RMs, no running, no burpees... :)  and I know that sometimes the drills and skills can seem a little boring, with little progress/reward.

But what about learning to focus?  What about improving your patience in a 21st century now now now gimme gimme gimme world?  These are valuable skills, and are possibly the most crucial ones to develop first if you want that muscle up, front lever, or handstand walk...

Deliberate practice is more than just doing the movement over and over and hoping for improvement.  It involves breaking a skill down into small components and working through them slowly, carefully...ie. deliberately.

Say you wanted to get a muscle up.  Well you could come in to the gym every darn day and try to get a muscle up, OR, you could strengthen your false grip on Monday, work the transition in the low rings on Tuesday, increase your strength with strict pullups and ring dips on Wednesday, and practice your kipping swing on the rings on Thursday, etc etc....

Have some trust in the process of deliberate practice.  It may not be fun to watch paint dry, but let's not forget, when it does finally set, the finished product looks pretty awesome.

PR Week - Day 5

Catch up on anything you've missed, have another crack at something, test your 2km row, or do yesterdays metcon.

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